Where Science, Art and Photography Intersect (25 photos)

Silhouette with Matches

Caleb Charland demonstrates lessons in physics and mathematics with his mind-blowing photography. Inspired by children's books of science experiments, he photographs everyday objects (like matches, pens and mirrors) in ways we've never imagined, often using multiple exposures to tell the story. For example, in Fifteen Hours, the last photo in this set, Charland used 15 exposures to show how the flame of a dinner candle beautifully burns down.

In still others, like in Cube with Rule and Penlight, Caleb Charland sits in pitch black darkness and, with a penlight in his hand, traces the shape of a cube along a ruler. Though at first glance, you think you're just looking at a box, you soon notice that the mysterious shadows are Charland's hands. Charland made 13 exposures on one sheet of 4×5 film; twelve exposures for each side of the cube, and one exposure with the light on to fill in the shapes of the room and the table.

I caught up with Charland to ask him a few questions about his work. First, just how did he create Silhouette with Matches, the first photo in this set? He explains, "This piece was a simple process of multiple exposure. I shoot all my work with a view camera on 4x5 film. Basically I took one exposure during the day for the background then one at night while lighting and tossing the matches. This process left the outline of my body without the use of Photoshop. In the large print you can actually see a few hair follicles silhouetted on the left side of my head." No Photoshop? Does that mean he never uses it in his work? "Not for the creation of the image, only slight color and tone adjustments to make a nice print," he says.

The beauty of it all is that there's an honesty to Charland's work. By transforming everyday household objects into unexpected experiences, he makes us appreciate multiple disciplines; art, science and photography. In addition, his work evokes that sense of curiosity that often lays dormant in us as adults. While looking at his photos, you can't help but marvel at the scientific laws that govern us and, at the same time, feel as though Charland's somehow cheated them.

“I guess you could do it in Photoshop a lot quicker and easier but I enjoy the analog process” says Charland, “there is something to working within limits.”

Jono sent this article through to me the other day - follow the via link above to see all of the photographs. Lovely inspirational stuff